Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Pierre Speaks: Ninja Gar-Den

Ninja GardenAnother comic project that I worked on was called Ninja Gar Den.

It was a short 8 pages comic that should have been part of some sort of anthology. Something that would be easy enough to fit in my schedule between my animated gig, and not too time consuming so that even if I ended up making no money with it, it would not be too dramatic.

I kind of liked the creator of the project, and it was a cute project, but things did not work out in the end.

It was another case of “draw now, get paid someday if there is some sort of future profit”.

At the time… I was in a tough spot financially.

There were few animation projects at the time… and some of them were very short gigs. A week of development here… a few days of design there.

So my time between animation gigs was split between making various animation tests (storyboard, design, in-between) to try to get more work to pay the bills, and making them comics for “future profit”.

In addition to not being paid… it was expected that I should get the services of a Notary for the contract they sent me.

Although it was later offered that I would be paid back half of the Notary fees…I did not have the money at the time to pay for that anyway. I was already struggling with the rent; I could not afford such an expense.

Also… never before was I expected to get any work contract notarized, which I was unable to do, so I ended up not working on the project.

Although when Jim and I were at HeroesCon with our Flashback Universe booth, we did see some sort of Ninja Garden ashcan.

So it seems that the creator of the project published the thing himself after all.

Good for him. [Editor's Note: Self publishing is hard and we at Flashback Universe salute everyone out there going that route! ]

It is always strange to see something you came up with drawn by someone else.

So it was strange to see the NGD’s artist take on the designs I had come up with. To see how he drew the comic pages. And how the story evolved since I was involved on the project.

Here are some of the artwork I made… some sort of teaser, a very rough drawing for the cover, and the first NDG story.

I was very happy with the teaser artwork and the establishing shot of the city on page 01. But I was not too happy about the result on page 07.

page 1

page 2

page 3

I probably would have redrawn pages 06 and 07… but in the end I had no reason to.

page 6

page 7

The problem that I had with page 07 was that there was a lot of dialogues, and I had to make sure that the characters were in a certain order so that the speech balloons would work.

It is common in most script that the writer not only includes the dialogues… but that he includes LOTS of it. So a common challenge when drawing from the script of inexperienced writers, or even experienced ones for that matter, is to try to fit what is often too much dialogues for a single page.

Also not only must you fit a lot of dialogues, but you must be sure that the first person to talk in each panel is to the left of the panel, and that each other characters with dialogues come in the proper order so that the dialogues read properly.

Although there are ways to cheat, or to bypass such a challenge.

One of them ways is to do what I call “channeling my inner George Perez”.

Perez is a master at putting too much material on a single page. And it was even more obvious when someone like… let’s say Marv Wolfman, was working with someone other then Perez.

Its seems that Wolfman was spoiled from working with Perez, and he got used to asking for a truckload of stuff on each page, in each panel, and then for extra fun… add some more. ;)

Perez could pull it off…. Some other artists could not. At least not very well.

So when someone asks for way to much stuff to happen in one page, or in each panel… I ask myself “How would George do it?”.

Although it usually does help… I did not pull it off with the pages 06 and 07 of the NGD story.

It happens.

Although it did help with the First Ladies pages… especially page 01.

first ladies page 1

So… although I was hoping to get my name out there with the NGD comic… it would not be so.

But there would be other projects.

There always are… if you really want to find one.

Until next time.

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